In the first three months after they are diagnosed with diabetes, people may be more prone to cancer diagnosis, a new study by the University of Toronto has found.
According to the researchers, the months preceding and following the diagnosis of diabetes may pose a significant risk of cancer diagnosis for diabetics.
It is widely believed that both cancer and diabetes share a variety of risk factors.The individuals who undergo various tests and screening for diabetes may simultaneously be diagnosed with cancer, according to the study.
One of the reasons of the spike in cancer risk immediately following a diagnosis of diabetes could be partly due to the increased health screening and health interactions that are triggered by a diabetes diagnosis, Illeana Lega, Assistant Professor at Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, who was a part of the study, told medicalresearch.com.
"But it also points to a higher risk of cancer that likely predates the diabetes diagnosis, due to the shared risk factors, and that there may be opportunities to catch or prevent those cancers earlier. There are currently no cancer screening guidelines specifically for patients with diabetes. Our findings suggest that people with diabetes, and especially those at high risk for diabetes, may benefit from enhanced cancer screening and prevention programs," Lega said.
However, on the positive side, diabetes, which is largely a lifestyle disease, can be managed or even prevented with various modifications in eating habits and exercising. This, according to Lega, is an indication that healthy food and exercising can also lessen the risk of cancer in people who are prone to or already have diabetes.
"Diet and exercise interventions have also been shown to reduce cancer risk and improve cancer outcomes in the general population. Our findings are important because they underscore the need for further research that examines the impact of exercise and healthy diet on cancer risk specifically in those with, or at risk for, diabetes," she added.